Thursday, June 30, 2016
Thank you so much Mom for your loving words of encouragement. They really helped a lot! I am feeling much better now and seem to be adjusting to this call well. I am grateful to have such amazing parents as you and dad to help me. I have prayed harder this week than I think I ever have before in my life and I've felt God's hand in my life. I have really tried to develop charity for those whom I serve, and I feel myself becoming (hopefully) more loving to all.
Moreno Valley is SUCH a big difference from Corona, where everyone is rich and white. We hear gunshots quite often here and have met some pretty rough-and-tumble folks! But I love it! The people here actually give you the time of day and are willing to listen! It is great!
Wow! I am loving Moreno Valley! I did love Corona, but I don't think it gets much better than this! The people here are so humble and open and it is insane how many people here are so prepared to receive the gospel! We really experienced some amazing miracles this week in our work. It reminded me of how the Lord really is a "fourth-watch God" in that He often waits until it seems what we've endeavored to do is impossible and we've come up short of our goals again, and then He intervenes and showers us in blessings for faithfully enduring and staying diligent! That is exactly what happened in our case: we were working hard all week, but we were having a difficult time finding new investigators and finding people who wanted to accept a baptismal date. We didn't give up, however, and Sunday we had two investigators show up to church. After church we were able to pick up a new investigator who accepted a baptismal date and said he would come to church. Another man, whom we met also said he would love for us to come by and share the lessons with him, and that he had actually been looking for a church. Our dinner, the Garcia family (who are awesome by the way) brought 3 non-members to dinner and we were able to have a great spiritual lesson with them. We were so richly blessed for our efforts and our faith! And that all just happened in the space of a few hours! There really isn't a better feeling than having the Lord, in His infinite mercy, pour out such blessings, when I am so imperfect and my contribution so minuscule in His great work. But I am so happy that I have the unique opportunity to be serving my King and to be laboring in this great section of His vineyard. Elder Hale and I have been praying hard for a baptism, and we've been doing all we can to achieve it, and I have full trust that we will be able to have success in bringing some of the Lord's precious souls back unto Him.
I miss Bishop Wadsworth's talks. They are stellar! That is good to hear that I am not the only one who had a rough time in the beginning of my mission! I am sure she will do great! If anyone is qualified to be a missionary, it is one of the Wadsworth's kids. And I bet England will be so much fun!
I need to help you when I get back with Family History. I have so neglected that, and I am sure I will love it once I try it. That sounds pretty cool about the family bible though! Sounds like it is a goldmine!
Dad said he wants a gun?! Is he feeling alright? haha That is really cool though! Good for you guys! You'll be having NRA stickers on the back of your cars by the time I get home! haha. I hope you enjoy your new gun!
I love you so so much and can't believe that I am almost at 11 months! I hear it gets faster after the first year, which I don't know if I like the sound of! It is flying by! But I love you a lot and am so grateful to be able to talk to you so often! Have a great week!
Your Elder Jackson :)
Oh tell Trent Loveridge Congrats for me!
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Wow! Looking at those pictures, you were driving right through my area! Haha we take those exits all the time! I'm glad you didn't tell me because I probably would have gotten distracted. I am glad that you had fun though and that you were able to have a good experience with being protected by your garments. I have surprisingly enough heard of quite a few of those types of experiences since being on my mission. That is truly a blessing! It sounds like you and Dad really enjoyed it! Brooklynn's daughter is adorable! I like Dad's ASU stuff too! haha that is great! I'm glad!
I wish it was nice weather like that here! It is 114 right now and I have to move! I will be moving to Moreno Valley to be a Zone Leader with Elder Hale, who was in my district when I first came into the mission. He is one of my favorite missionaries in the mission. I am kind of nervous to be a leader, but I guess the Lord thinks I can do it! I honestly don't know why I got called, but I am excited for this opportunity. I will finally not be in a rich white area! Woo! It will be a nice change of pace!
Mom, I really just want to make you and dad, my mission president and the Lord proud, but I feel like I always fall short. Any suggestions?
Time really goes fast. At the beginning of my mission I longed for the 2 years ahead of me to go quicker so that I could return home and I felt as if I would be here forever. I now am panicking because I feel like I am running out of time so quickly. I still have a big chunk of time left but I feel like I am still figuring out how to be a missionary and I don't want to waste any of my time on my mission not being as effective as I can. I feel like Nephi at times when he laments, "O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities." I wish I was better and I wish I didn't make mistakes. I am so grateful, however, that we have the opportunity to repent and have a fresh start each week when we partake of the sacrament. I am thankful that we are able to have experiences that help us see what's right and what's wrong so that we can make correct choices from that point on.
This week, even though I was not a perfect missionary, I felt like I didn't know what to pray for. I know that sounds silly because there is always something to pray for as a missionary. But I just felt like I didn't really need anything. I was content with everything. And then I realized how dangerous that was. We cannot afford to be stagnate. We will start to sink if that is the case. I was rereading the story of Peter greeting the Savior on the water and was instantly reminded of my need to refocus on the Savior, or else I too would start to sink. Well, actually I guess I was sinking because I too reached out to the Christ and asked for help, and just like Peter, I felt the gentle and loving rebuke of One who knows that I know better. I am thankful for prayer and how we can talk with God, not just at Him. I am thankful for the Atonement and how it makes change possible. It is such a blessing to be able to overcome those sins that beset us.
Take care and stay cool!
Your Elder Jackson
I love that picture! Haha that is hilarious!
This week was awesome! We worked our tails off, trying to do everything possible in order to get members out with us and to preach repentance and baptism in every lesson. It was amazing how strong the Spirit was and how much love I felt from our Heavenly Father as we thrust in our sickle with all of our might. We applied the advice given to us in our interviews with our mission president and refocused on our purpose. It was amazing to see the fruits of that decision. One of the most exciting fruits of that was quickly following-up on a potential investigator and then in turn picking up two new super solid investigators named David and Kevin who have both been so prepared by the Lord. When we taught the Restoration, the Spirit was without a doubt there and they even said how much they felt their faith grow. They excitedly accepted a baptismal date and to read the Book of Mormon. They weren't able to come to church, but I have full faith that they will. They both said they've been looking for something and readily accepted this as that missing thing, It is so amazing to see how the Lord really does keep His promises and that if we do all we can, success will come; He is bound to His word. It was so great! Today we also taught a lesson to a young 8 year old girl who's grandpa and older sister are both members, and even though she is young, she wants to follow Christ and be baptized! It was adorable. Teaching kids is so much better than adults: kids get so excited when you teach, and they don't have all of these nasty preconceived notions about the church. Instead they just love what they're learning and are so pure! It was definitely a miracle!
That is so cool to hear about Stacy! Congrats to her! I bet she will really like that! I am sorry to hear that you are not feeling well at all! I hope you get better! What is it that you have? Just a nasty head cold? Those are always the worst! Especially when you are on vacation! I'm sorry. You are totally right, at the beginning of my mission, it seemed like every couple of weeks I was getting something to keep me inside, but I have been quite lucky these past few months. I was really afraid because there is a nasty flu going around the mission and I was pretty sure I was starting to feel some of the symptoms, but I think I was just physically exhausted and needed some good rest. I've been trying to go to bed early the past few days.
(NOTE: This post is from the week of June 13th)
Monday, June 6, 2016
Thank you for your encouragement! I appreciate it!
It was so fun to meet Studio C! I am still giddy about it! They were so kind and had great spirits. They enjoyed our performance as well! Someone filmed it, but it didn't get sent to us :( We should have done an Arnold skit! That would've been so fun!
|More pictures from the Memorial Day Luau!|
I had never thought about that before, but that is true! We really are doing a lot more good than we probably think in trying to correct the evil shift the world is making. Kinda makes me feel like 3rd Nephi! That is cool!
I know that there are people here to baptize, and as I work diligently and faithfully, I can baptize them. I had a very powerful experience recently that confirmed to me that there are people who need to hear the gospel from my lips, and the Spirit will testify of its truthfulness. I am grateful for the amount of time we have to improve ourselves, both on a mission and here in this life. I am grateful that the Lord is forgiving and that we have the Atonement to help us as we stumble. I am grateful for the Holy Ghost and the wonderful joy it brings to me. I am thankful that I can feel the Spirit and be made better by it. I am grateful a fantastic companion who is easy to love and is quick to forgive. He is doing very well and has a strong love for others and the Lord. He can also dance better than any other missionary I've seen. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be his companion and to learn from him, and am grateful that I have more time to continue to learn from him! I'm excited to have a fresh week to improve!
We had crossfit today with the whole northern half of the mission and it was so fun! We got all sweaty and I got to see lots of old friends who are soon leaving and others who have been transferred. It was so great! I love the friends I've made out here.
(NOTE: Elder Jackson's grandmother has Alzheirmer's)
Wow! Talk about diligence! You are diligent in your love and care for your mom! That would tough to be so kind while someone is yelling at you and saying how terrible you are when you are going through all you are doing for them in the first place. That is quite a large amount of love. I am sure that is how Christ felt. He was paying for the sins and sorrows of the very soldiers who pierced his hands and mocked Him. Whenever we fall or reach out, no matter how we ourselves push Him away, He will still stand there, in all of His glory, with His loving arm outstretched towards us. Just like your mom will one day run to you with tears of joy, hug you, and shower you with shouts of gratitude for all that you have done for her, you and I too will run to the feet of Christ and do likewise.
Thank you for all your love and support! I feel it. I pray for you as well! You are the best!
Love you so so much!
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Hey Mom! Sorry I am writing late. The libraries were closed Monday and we had a busy day and no time to email yesterday so here I am!
First off: We moved! We got the call on Thursday and have spent all weekend packing up all the furniture, supplies and junk that have accumulated in that apartment over the past 4 years! I am a pretty clean and tidy person compared to most missionaries and it was no fun having to clean up all of their messes and stuff! But, our new apartment is very nice and I am happy to be in it! That being said, make sure you don't send any more mail to my old address. Send it all either to the mission office or to the new one.
I have learned this week that I am not a fan of moving. If anyone says missionary work is hard or stressful, they have obviously not had to move. I'm only joking and missionary work is hard and stressful at times, but in a different way. I am grateful to be in a new place. I am also glad to be done moving and able to focus fully on the Lord's work again, and not Uhaul's.
I'm continuing to learn the importance of diligence. I know it's what the Lord wants me to continue to work on because it's still what seems to be popping up everywhere I go and is always on the back of my mind. I need to continue to improve on my diligence in missionary work (in particular working with members and having them getting involved in finding and teaching) and I know that we will see more baptisms. I am excited to see what this week holds and I am recommitting myself to do all that I can, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually. I often think that I get caught up in thinking that if I simply am out moving from place to place and doing everything I can all day, that I am giving it my all, but we are told in D&C 4 that we need to serve with all of our "heart, might, mind and strength". I often feel like I leave out the "mind" and "heart" aspects of it and need to strive for improvement there. The Lord will provide a way, and I know that. I just need to trust in His promises more. That is my goal for this week.
I have also come to realize the importance of being open with and communicating with your companion. When you do sit down to talk about goals or resolve conflicts, and you do so guided by prayer and the scriptures, so much good can come from it. I am amazed at how inspired it is and really how simple it is as well! It seems complicated, but it isn't! It really changes the whole mood of a companionship and allows the spirit of contention to be dismissed. I really want to try and incorporate that tactic into my marriage down the road. I know that it will help me and my future wife stay unified and be able to overcome those challenges that undoubtedly will come. As we stay anchored in Christ and talk to one another in love, we will make it through whatever the Lord has put in our paths and we can return to live with Him again.
We had some really cool experiences this week that were not quite as spiritual in nature, but still really fun! So first off, a brother in our ward loves to have a good time, so he puts on a Luau every year on the Saturday before Memorial Day and has the In-N-Out truck cater and then brings famous LDS people in as entertainment (in the past he brought Kerby Heybourne, "Elder Calhoun" from the Best Two Years, and is in the R.M.) and also has Polynesian dancers come in. So we got invited to that and we invited a bunch of our investigators. The night before, we had had a really good lesson with one of ourinvestigators that has heretofore not progressed at all, but after some divine intervention in having the perfect member come out with us to the lesson who was exactly who he needed to meet, he committed to read the Book of Mormon and to come to the party to get to know people in the ward. And he came and loved it! When we got there, there was about 150 people there, I would guess, and it was all you can eat
This upcoming week is going to be great, I can feel it. I am so excited to see what it has in store!
That is great that you and dad had such a great weekend together! I am glad to hear that. Thank you so much for your advice. I will be less hard on myself. You're right. It's not how the Lord would do it.Thanks. You're the best!
I hope you have a great week! Stay safe and tell all the family I say Hi! I love and miss you so so much!
Your Elder Jackson
PS tell Alexis congrats! That's awesome!